June 10, 2005
SAN BRUNO, Calif. - Santa Clara University's Megan Kakadelas and Pepperdine University's Michael Putnam were named the West Coast Conference Male and Female Scholar Athletes of the Year, Commissioner Michael Gilleran announced today. Kakadelas is the fourth Santa Clara female student-athlete in the last five years to be selected Scholar Athlete of the Year. Putnam is just the third Pepperdine male student-athlete to be named Scholar Athlete of the Year, the first since 1989, and just the second men's golfer in the history of the conference to earn the distinction.
The highest honor in the WCC is selected by a vote of the WCC's institutional representatives to recognize the finest accomplishments in athletics, academics and community service by individuals who have completed their WCC eligibility.
In her three years as a soccer standout at Santa Clara, Kakadelas excelled on both the playing field and in the classroom. The Carlsbad, Calif. native was instrumental in helping Santa Clara reach the College Cup in 2002 and 2004. Kakadelas, a 2004 first team NSCAA All-American, netted a historic game-winning goal in the Broncos' overtime win over North Carolina in the 2004 NCAA Tournament. Kakadelas, who was named the 2001 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year while at USC, transferred to Santa Clara and earned All-WCC distinction in her three seasons at SCU. A skilled playmaker, Kakadelas ended her career with 21 goals and 26 assists for a total of 68 points.
While at Santa Clara, Kakadelas epitomized the term student-athlete. As impressive as Kakadelas was on the pitch, she was equally impressive in the classroom, graduating with a 3.82 in Accounting. For her athletic and academic excellence, Kakadelas was named the 2004 NSCAA/adidas Female Scholar Athlete of the Year. She is just the second Bronco to receive the award, joining former SCU standout Danielle Slaton, who earned the honor in 2001. A two-time All-WCC All-Academic member, Kakadelas was named an Academic All-American in 2003 and 2004. In addition to her athletic and academic commitments, Kakadelas was also a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Leavey Scholars, the Accounting Association and Co-Chair of Service Community through her church, which organized community service events in the greater Santa Clara area.
Putnam capped his career at Pepperdine as arguably the best golfer in school history. The Tacoma, Wash. native was a three-time All-American, and recently was awarded the prestigious Byron Nelson Award, which is presented to a graduating senior who the selection committee feels has exemplified academic and athletic excellence during their collegiate golf career, while maintaining high character and integrity. Putnam is the second Pepperdine golfer - Jason Allred (2002) was the inaugural recipient - to win the award in its four-year history. Putnam concluded his collegiate career in spectacular fashion as he finished as national runner-up at the NCAA Tournament, qualified for the U.S. Open and helped the United States capture the 2005 Palmer Cup. Putnam leaves Pepperdine as the school's all-time stroke average leader with a 71.69 career average, while his 70.73 stroke average in 2004-05 stands as the lowest single-season average in school history. Putnam, who will graduate with a 3.33 in Business Administration, is a three-time member of the WCC All-Academic team and a Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) Academic All-American. Despite the time demands put on him by academics and athletics, Putnam found time to participate on the Pepperdine Student Advisory Committee the past two years. For the past four years, Putnam has also been an active participant in the Step Forward Day, an outreach program for the local community, and an active member of GOAL, a student-athlete Bible study group.